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    Countdown to the Rio Paralympic Games

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    Lake Placid, New York – The United States regrouped overnight to open the morning session of the 2016 U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball International Friendly against 2014 World Champion Canada. Team USA started out quickly by taking a 24-4 first quarter lead, and continued to improve as the game continued for a commanding 86-45 victory.

     

    Two-time U.S. Paralympian Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minnesota, paced Team USA by going 17 for 23 from the floor for 35 points. Also reaching double figures was three-time U.S. Paralympian Becca Murray of Germantown, Wisconsin, put up 16 points, and two-time U.S. Paralympian Desiree Miller of Monroe, Washington, scored 13 points. Team USA shot an astounding 66 percent from the floor, and held a 46-point lead in the fourth quarter.

     

    The second game pitted the United States against Great Britain, where a team effort brought Team USA back from a six-point deficit in the first quarter. The United States was down 12-6, and in the second quarter took the lead and never looked behind slowly building upon its lead on the shoulders of Murray (21 points), Hollermann (13 points) and Miller (12 points). In the closing minutes, Team USA had a 57-38 lead, and finished the evening session with a 57-42 win.

     

    Saturday morning, Team USA will try to avenge its Thursday defeat against Germany at 9 a.m. Eastern, while Great Britain and Canada square off at 11 a.m.

     

    Germany improved to a 4-0 overall record over the course of the last two days of competition with wins over Great Britain, 50-35, and Canada, 52-37. The 2012 Paralympic Games gold medalists spread the ball to its players in its two games as Mareike Miller and Marina Mohen contributed 10 points each in their win over Great Britain. In the game against the 2014 World Champion Canadians, Heike Friedrich scored 12 points, with Barbara Gross putting back 10 points.

     

    In 2014, Canada defeated the United States in the semi-finals of the World Championships and went onto win the gold medal, while the United States finished fourth. Last summer at the 2015 Parapan Am Games in Toronto, Team USA returned to the top of podium by edging Canada for the gold medal and qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

     

    Team USA will have one more international competition following the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center event, when Team USA travels to the Women’s World Super Cup, Frankfurt, Germany, July 13-18.

     

    The U.S. women’s team qualified for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games by winning the 2015 Parapan American Games. The U.S. women dominated the Parapan Am competition by outscoring their opponents by 55 points per game and avenged their 2014 World Championships fourth-place finish by defeating Canada for the gold medal in Toronto, Canada.

     

    The U.S. Women’s Head Coach is Stephanie Wheeler of Champaign, Illinois, who won two Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008, and will be assisted by NWBA Hall of Famer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California, and Amy Spangler of Madison, Wisconsin, with Kearstin Gehlhausen of Whitewater, Wisconsin, serving as the team leader, and Karla Wessels of Lexington, Kentucky, is the athletic trainer.

     

    The U.S. Women’s team finished fourth at the 2012 London Paralympics, after claiming the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing and 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

     

    2016 U.S. Women’s International Friendly

    Olympic Training Center, Lake Placid, New York

    June 23-25, 2016

     

    Records

    1. Germany, 4-0
    2. United States, 3-1
    3. Great Britain, 1-3
    4. Canada, 0-4

     

    Results

    Thursday, June 23

    Game #1 – Germany def. Canada, 54-41

    Game #2 – USA def. Great Britain, 57-50

    Game #3 – Great Britain def. Canada, 52-39

    Game #4 – Germany def. USA, 54-47

     

    Friday, June 24

    Game #5 – USA def. Canada, 86-45

    Game #6 – Germany vs. Great Britain, 50-35

    Game #7 – USA def. Great Britain, 57-42

    Game #8 – Germany def. Canada, 52-37

     

    Schedule

    Saturday, June 25 (All times EDST)

    9 a.m. – Germany vs. USA

    11 a.m. – Canada vs. Great Britain

    5 p.m. – Great Britain vs. Germany

    7 p.m. – USA vs. Canada

    It's A Family Thing For Gail Gaeng

    06/24/2016, 1:45pm CDT
    By Taylor Bond, NWBA

    Gail Gaeng could have been anything she wanted, as long as it involved a ball and someone keeps score. Coming from a family of six athletic siblings and equally as athletic parents and being the baby of this basketball team sized family being an athlete really wasn’t a choice she had to make. Gaeng attempted her fate at soccer, softball, lacrosse, tennis, track and eventually able bodied basketball that eventually led to the awareness of wheelchair basketball. She was invited to try out for a team in Baltimore, Maryland, close to her home of Fredrick, Maryland, and once she made the team her athletic fate was sealed.

     

    “My family is super athletic and my parents encouraged me to try anything you can imagine; it was kind of do or die when it came to athletics. Some sports probably weren’t the best thing cut out for me but they’ve always been supportive in everything I did,” said Gaeng.

     

    In high school, Gaeng played wheelchair basketball along with being a lacrosse goal keeper, wheelchair track member and for a period of time was on the tennis team. However, her quickness and competitiveness on the basketball court made wheelchair basketball the right choice for college athletics. She attended the University of Illinois, where she worked hard and was ultimately determined to make the U.S. Paralympic team. She was cut from the team five times until just recently being announces as one of 12 members of the Rio 2016 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball Team. Even more remarkable was that Gaeng’s teammates voted her as co-captain in her first Games, along with five-time U.S. Paralympian Christina Schwab of Dane, Wisconsin. It just shows how heart and a lot of determination can go along way for someone like Gaeng.

     

    “I could not be more honored to be wearing USA across my chest and going to my first games,” said Gaeng. “I am most excited about the intense competition, being that I am such a competitor and want to test my abilities. I am just very appreciative of this opportunity.”

     

    She is so competitive that she notes family board game night tends to get a little heated and if anyone should argue against her favorite team, the Baltimore Ravens, they may not come out unscathed. Gaeng doesn’t miss a Ravens game and is a self-proclaimed die hard fan, and Ray Lewis is her favorite athlete.

     

    You can find a calmer side of Gaeng out on the green where she loves to golf, because its relaxing and allows for her mind to escape basketball. Golfing is also with no surprise a family affair and it can be a great outing with lots of great bonding for all the members of the Gaeng household.

     

    As you can see, her family is very close and being the baby of the family Gaeng feels that especially more leading into Rio. She plans on seeing a few of her sisters to wish her good luck before heading to the games in September and will also be bringing her best friend and a few family members to Rio with her.

     

    Gaeng has made strides while following closely in her family’s footstep. She has also paved her own way and made her own name for herself. She is well rounded, funny, kind and ultimately achieves anything and everything she puts her mind to. Gaeng’s mind is focused on only one color of medal – gold. 

    Lake Placid, New York – Team USA opened the second U.S. Women’s International Wheelchair Basketball Friendly with a seven-point victory over Great Britain, 57-50, and then dropped its second game to the defending Paralympic Games gold medalists Germany, 54-47. Leading the way for Team USA was two-time U.S. Paralympian Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minnesota, scored 36 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in the two games, while three-time U.S. Paralympian Becca Murray of Germantown, Wisconsin, put back 35 points.

     

    Murray paced the United States in its game against Great Britain scoring 19 of her 25 points in the first half, and at one point Team USA commanded an 18-8 lead. Great Britain bounced back in the second quarter and was down 25-24 at half. Both teams were neck and neck throughout the rest of the game, with Team USA’s Hollermann scored six points in the last three minutes for the 57-50 win. Helen Freeman and Amy Conroy were the top scorers for Great Britain with 22 and 12 points, respectively.

     

    The evening contest belonged to Germany from the start and Team USA was never able to recover from an early deficit. Germany maintained at least an eight-point lead through most the game, and increased it to 13 points in the second half, 46-33. Germany was a solid 48 percent from the floor, with Marieke Miller scoring 17 points, and Gesche Schunemann putting back 14 points.

     

    Team USA, only shooting 35 percent against Germany, saw Hollermann score 19 points and grab 12 rebounds, while Murray was held to only 10 points in the game.

     

    The United States will start the second day of the tournament against 2014 World Champion Canada at 9 a.m. Eastern, while Germany and Great Britain will follow at 11 a.m.

     

    In 2014, Canada defeated the United States in the semi-finals of the World Championships and went onto win the gold medal, while the United States finished fourth. Last summer at the 2015 Parapan Am Games in Toronto, Team USA returned to the top of podium by edging Canada for the gold medal and qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

     

    In the first game of the evening session, Great Britain came from behind to outlast Canada, 52-39. Canada came out quickly building an eight-point lead through the first quarter, however Great Britain started their comeback and never looked back. Amy Conroy scored 17 for Great Britain and was joined by Helen Freeman and Judith Hamer with 15 and 12 points each. Canada, the 2014 World champions, was led by Cindy Ouellet and Arinn Young who contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively.

     

    Germany started the day off by defeating Canada, 54-41, where four players reached double digits. Gesche Schunemann led the Germans with a double-double, scoring 12 points and snagging 11 rebounds. Mareike Miller contributed 14 points, with Maya Lindholm and Annika Zeyen scoring 10 points each. Rosalie Lalonde led Team Canada with 12 points.

     

    In the final preparation phases for the Rio Games, the U.S. team will see a variety of teams in the next five weeks. Team USA will have one more international competition following the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center event, when Team USA travels to the Women’s World Super Cup, Frankfurt, Germany, July 13-18.

     

    The U.S. women’s team qualified for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games by winning the 2015 Parapan American Games. The U.S. women dominated the Parapan Am competition by outscoring their opponents by 55 points per game and avenged their 2014 World Championships fourth-place finish by defeating Canada for the gold medal in Toronto, Canada.

     

    The U.S. Women’s Head Coach is Stephanie Wheeler of Champaign, Illinois, who won two Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008, and will be assisted by NWBA Hall of Famer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California, and Amy Spangler of Madison, Wisconsin, with Kearstin Gehlhausen of Whitewater, Wisconsin, serving as the team leader, and Karla Wessels of Lexington, Kentucky, is the athletic trainer.

     

    The U.S. Women’s team finished fourth at the 2012 London Paralympics, after claiming the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing and 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

     

    2016 U.S. Women’s International Friendly

    Olympic Training Center, Lake Placid, New York

    June 23-25, 2016

     

    Results

    Game #1 – Germany def. Canada, 54-41

    Game #2 – USA def. Great Britain, 57-50

    Game #3 – Great Britain def. Canada, 52-39

    Game #4 – Germany def. USA, 54-47

     

    Schedule

    Friday, June 23 (All times EDST)

    9 a.m.                       Canada vs. USA

    11 a.m.                    Germany vs. Great Britain

    5 p.m.                       Great Britain vs. USA

    7 p.m.                       Germany vs. Canada

     

    Saturday, June 24 (All times EDST)

    9 a.m.                       Germany vs. USA

    11 a.m.                    Canada vs. Great Britain

    5 p.m.                       Great Britain vs. Germany

    7 p.m.                       USA vs. Canada

     

    Co-Captain Christina Schwab Looks Forward to Fifth Paralympic Games

    06/23/2016, 3:30pm CDT
    By Taylor Bond, NWBA

    Multi-talented Christina Schwab has already had a full life at the age of 36. Having been to four Paralympic games, four World Championships, won two gold medals, and is also a Boston Marathoner winner, that is just the beginning of her resume. Schwab was also a two-sport collegiate athlete and two-sport U.S. Paralympic athlete having competed in track in 2012 in London. Not to mention she is married, has a three-year-old son and co-founded the Denver Lady Rolling Nuggets. Schwab’s list of accomplishments is endless as she is going into her fifth and final Games. Her impressionism will not stop when her basketball career does.

     

    Schwab just recently accepted a coaching position at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She will be the new head women’s wheelchair basketball coach. She has previously coached at the junior division level but never the collegiate level, and she could not be more excited.

     

    “I can’t wait to be involved with the school, the team and the organization. I want to help younger girls make the USA team and achieve their dreams,” said Schwab.

     

    Accepting this position means relocating her family from Colorado to Wisconsin, but being reunited by her friends and family in her home state, as she was born and raised in the city of Dane. Schwab only moved to Lakewood, Colorado in 2006, where she then founded the Denver Lady Rolling Nuggets alongside Jennifer Chew in 2007 and has played for them ever since.

     

    After high school in Wisconsin, she went on to do track and wheelchair basketball at the University of Illinois. Her college track coach was originally from Boston and he was the one who encouraged her to do the Boston Marathon. She won the marathon in 2003.

     

    “I always thought I was more of a mid-distance athlete like the 400 and 800 but after doing Boston I realized I was more successful at the marathon,” Schwab added.

     

    Hanging up her court shoes after Rio comes with mixed emotions for Schwab, as she has truly enjoyed the team aspect, the hard work put in on a daily basis and the overall journey. However, she is excited to explore the path of coaching and being able to spend more time with her young family and exploit her gardening career.

     

    That’s right the competitive and award-winning Christina Schwab loves to garden and is sad to be leaving her newly planted garden to the new owners of her home. She loves going to farmer’s markets and planting new things. Schwab and her family also have a passion for the outdoors and you can often find them exploring somewhere new, going for a hike and camping on the weekends. This well rounded U.S. Paralympian may have had a full life up to this point, but needless to say she has a full life to look forward to after the upcoming games, where she hopes to add just one more athletic accomplishment to her already endless list before residing on the sidelines as a head coach.

    The King of Social Media

    06/17/2016, 4:45pm CDT
    By Taylor Bond - NWBA

    Everyone who is anyone in wheelchair basketball knows the quick witted, humorous and never without a smile player that is Matt Scott. How could you not, from being a Polo Ralph Lauren campaigner, ESPN’s ESPY nominee, avid social media promoter, actor for Nike’s No Excuses commercial, and star of his own nationwide broadcast on New Year’s eve two years in a row. Scott is your model athlete with such an encouraging and positive energy recognized everywhere he goes and in everything he does.

    Scott claims his success of wheelchair basketball is attributed to rolling up socks and shooting them into his hamper, just as Kobe Bryant did. Well, hamper shooting sure did him well, and at the age of 14 he found the beauty of the sport and never looked back. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a powerhouse school for wheelchair basketball, and now his whole life is basketball he admits.

    That life of basketball has led to some amazing opportunities that he is grateful for. Scott has been overseas for just about 10 years, eight in Istanbul and one year in Porto Torres Sardinia where he currently resides. He is on his second season playing for GSD Porto Torres. He has a true love for both of his homes, as Detroit was where he was born and raised, and Porto Torres the small town in Sardinia is full of heart has really grown on him.

    “The people, food, scenery and the entire lifestyle is all so warm and welcoming. I knew the minute I got there it was a special place,” said Scott.

    The ability to play professional wheelchair basketball has really allowed Scott to do all his favorite things: travel, try new foods; experience new and unique things; attempt new activities; and write about all the places he goes. That is truly what makes Matt Scott, Matt Scott.

    His innate ability to passionately indulge himself into every single thing he does is unique to his persona. He gives his whole heart to everything and everybody on a daily basis and that is why he is a highly loved and respected player all over the world.

    Scott finds some musical inspiration from one of his favorite artists Drake. Music being one of his first loves, he claims to download anything and everything Drake puts out even if its good or bad. You can find the entire team jamming to Drake in the gym before practice and training camps all thanks to Scott. He enjoys most live music and attending concerts as often as he can. He also has a strong love for art of all forms including visual and performing arts.

    If that isn’t impressive enough, Scott expands his resume by adding Turkish and Italian to the list of languages that he speaks. He can fluently speak Turkish but humbly admits his Italian is coming along more slowly. Scott also admits to having a massive shoe collection to keep his “shoe game strong” even though he has no feet (he is double amputee) and often turns his left shoe backward during games as a good luck charm.

    Through Scott’s impressive reputation, long list of achievements, incredible experiences and overall amazing energy and personality he remembers what is important – his family and even more importantly his mother. His family is very supportive of everything he does and is always in his corner whenever he needs them.

    “My mother is my shining star, everything I do is in order to make her proud. She means the world to me,” Scott commented.

    From the words of a four-time Paralympian, Nike athlete and overall star to anyone he meets. He has the heart of a champion and his actions truly speak volumes to the kind of person Matt Scott really is.

    The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is proud to announce the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team. The Team USA roster features eight U.S. Paralympians, five with World Championships experience, and returns 10 of the 12 from the gold-medal winning 2015 Parapan Am Games. This team will feature five-time U.S. Paralympian and co-captain Christina Schwab of Lakewood, Colorado, who will lead her group of 12 athletes into Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in September. The team was selected by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Women’s Player Selection Committee and is pending final approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee and U.S. Paralympics.
     
    Schwab, a two-sport Paralympian, garners two gold medals in wheelchair basketball from Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, and participated in four World Championships in wheelchair basketball (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010). She was a member of the track and field team in London 2012.
     
    Gail Gaeng of Frederick Maryland, the other co-captain, will be making her maiden trip to the Rio 2016 Paralympics. The 24-year-old and recent University of Illinois graduate helped Team USA to the top of the podium last summer at the Parapan Am Games.
     
    “The selection of the U.S. women’s team was a tough choice for head coach Stephanie Wheeler and the selection committee, as all of the athletes are deserving of selection,” said Jim Scherr, NWBA Executive Director. “The talent of this team brings a wealth of experience from prior Paralympics and World Championships, and familiarity to draw from that will provide the United States success in Rio. This team is deep in talent, and provides our coaching staff an ability to establish numerous lineups as we build towards Rio in September.”
     
    Making their third Games appearance are Becca Murray of Germantown, Wisconsin and Natalie Schneider of Crete, Nebraska. Both Murray and Schneider won gold in 2008 and finished fourth in 2012. Murray has also played in two World Championships in 2010 and 2014, and was joined by Schneider in 2010.
     
    Five athletes will return for their second Games appearance after success at the Parapan Am Games in Toronto, Canada, last summer, and are led by the offensive juggernaut Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minnesota; and the defensive strengths of Darlene Hunter of Commerce Township, Michigan; Desiree Miller of Monroe, Washington; and Jennifer Poist of McSherrystown, Pa. Hunter and Miller both played on the 2010 World Championship team, while Hollermann and Poist were members of the 2014 World Championship team.
     
    Mackenzie Soldan of Hemlock, Michigan will be making her second appearance in the Games but her first in wheelchair basketball. Soldan competed in tennis in London 2012, but shortly after the London Paralympics she came back to wheelchair basketball and competed on the 2014 U.S. Women’s World Championship team and helped Team USA to the gold medal at the 2015 Parapan Am Games.
     
    2014 World Championship teammates and 2015 Parapan Am Games teammates Megan Blunk of Gig Harbor, Washington, and Abigail Dunkin of New Braunfels, Texas, will make their first trip to the Games in September. Also joining will be Vanessa Erskine of Kearney, Missouri, a Youth Parapan Games gold medalist.
     
    “The decision was difficult in selecting the final 12 members of this Paralympic Games team, and I am thankful for the input from the selection committee,” said U.S. Women’s Head Coach Stephanie Wheeler of Champaign, Illinois. “We have been working together for several months as a team, and have grown together in training camps and international competitions. The mixture of veterans and newcomers brings talent, skill and energy that should position the United States well this September.”
     
    Up next for the U.S. Women will be the second U.S. Women’s International Friendly at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York, June 22-26. Team USA will close out its 2016 international schedule at the Women’s World Super Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, July 13-18. The 12 women will have one more training camp in Colorado Springs prior to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, scheduled for Sept. 7-18.
     
    The U.S. women’s team qualified for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games by winning the 2015 Parapan American Games. The U.S. women dominated the Parapan Am competition by outscoring their opponents by 55 points per game and avenged their 2014 World Championships fourth-place finish by defeating Canada for the gold medal in Toronto, Canada.
     
    The U.S. Women’s Head Coach is Stephanie Wheeler of Champaign, Illinois, who won two Paralympic gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Games, and will be assisted by NWBA Hall of Famer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California, and Amy Spangler of Madison, Wisconsin, with Kearstin Gehlhausen of Whitewater, Wisconsin, serving as the team leader, and Karla Wessels of Lexington, Kentucky, is the athletic trainer. Dr. Roberta Kraus of Colorado Springs, Colorado, serves as both the men’s and women’s Team Psychologist.
     
    The U.S. Women’s team finished fourth at the London 2012 Paralympics, after claiming the gold medal at the Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.
     
    -- ### --
     
    Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    September 7-18, 2016
     
    2016 U.S. Paralympic Women’s Team Roster (Alphabetical)
    Name Residence Hometown Birthdate
    Megan Blunk Urbana, Ill. Gig Harbor, Wash. 09/12/1989
    Abby Dunkin Arlington, Texas New Braunfels, Texas 11/24/1995
    Vanessa Erskine Zwickau, Germany Kearney, Mo. 07/12/1994
    Gail Gaeng Champaign, Ill. Frederick, Md. 12/27/1992
    Rose Hollermann Arlington, Texas Elysian, Minn. 12/25/1995
    Darlene Hunter Arlington, Texas Commerce Township, Mich. 04/16/1982
    Desiree Miller Whitewater, Wis. Monroe, Wash. 08/12/1987
    Becca Murray Germantown, Wis. Germantown, Wis. 03/15/1990
    Jennifer Poist Tucson, Ariz. McSherrystown, Pa. 03/14/1989
    Natalie Schneider Crete, Neb. Crete, Neb. 02/11/1983
    Christina Schwab Lakewood, Colo. Dane, Wis. 07/31/1980
    Mackenzie Soldan Tuscaloosa, Ala. Hemlock, Mich. 05/14/1992
     
    U.S. Team Staff:
    Head Coach: Stephanie Wheeler, Champaign, Illinois
    Assistant Coach: Trooper Johnson, San Lorenzo, California; Amy Spangler, Madison, Wisconsin
    Team Leader: Kearstin Gehlhausen, Whitewater, Wisconsin
    Athletic Trainer: Karla Wessels, Lexington, Kentucky
    Team Psychologist: Dr. Roberta Kraus, Colorado Springs, Colorado
     
    Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Schedule
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    September 7-18, 2016

    Date Time Round U.S. Opponent Venue
    9/8/16 10 a.m. Pool Play France vs. USA Carioca Arena 1
    9/10/16 6 p.m.  Pool Play USA vs. China Carioca Arena 1
    9/11/16 3:45 p.m. Pool Play Netherlands vs. USA Carioca Arena 1
    9/12/16 9:30 a.m. Pool Play USA vs. Algeria Rio Olympic Arena
    9/13/16 9:30 a.m. Women’s 9-10 Place  Rio Olympic Arena
    9/13/16 11:45 a.m. Women’s Quarter-final  Rio Olympic Arena
    9/13/16 3:15 p.m. Women’s Quarter-final  Rio Olympic Arena
    9/13/16 5:30 p.m.  Women’s Quarter-final  Rio Olympic Arena
    9/13/16 9 a.m. Women’s Quarter-final  Rio Olympic Arena
    9/15/16 11:45 a.m. Women’s Semi-final  Rio Olympic Arena
    9/15/16 3:15 p.m. Women’s Semi-final  Rio Olympic Arena
    9/16/16 9:30 a.m. Women’s 7-8 Place Game  Rio Olympic Arena
    9/16/16 11:45 a.m. Women’s Bronze Medal Game Rio Olympic Arena
    9/16/16 3:15 p.m.  Women’s 5-6 place  Rio Olympic Arena
    9/16/16 5:30 p.m.  Women’s Gold Medal Game  Rio Olympic Arena
    9/16/16 7:30 p.m. Women’s Victory Ceremony  Rio Olympic Arena
     
    2016 Rio Paralympic Games Women's pools
    Group A: Canada; Germany; Great Britain; Argentina; Brazil
    Group B: USA; Netherlands; France; China; Algeria

    The NWBA announced Wednesday the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team that is highlighted by six returning athletes from the London 2012 Paralympic Games that won a bronze medal, and eight athletes from the silver-medal winning 2014 World Championships. The team was selected by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Men’s Player Selection Committee and is pending final approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee and U.S. Paralympics.
     
    Mike Paye of Macomb, Michigan, and Steve Serio of Westbury, New York, the two captains of the gold-medal winning 2015 Parapan Am Games Team, lead the roster of 12 athletes and will be playing in their third Paralympic Games. They played together on three consecutive World Championship teams (2006, 2010, 2014), and were together again at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics where the U.S. finished fourth. Paye was a member of the Athens 2004 Paralympic Team, and Serio helped lead the United States’ bronze-medal performance at the London 2012 Paralympics.
     
    Also making a fourth consecutive Paralympic Games appearance will be Matt Scott of Southfield, Mich., who also was a member of the 2006, 2010 and 2014 U.S. World Championship teams.
     
    “The selection of the U.S. men’s team was a challenging decision for head coach Ron Lykins and the selection committee, as all of the athletes are extremely talented and deserving of selection,” said Jim Scherr, NWBA Executive Director. “The mixture of veteran talent from prior Paralympics and World Championships, and an emerging group of youth players provided us a deep pool of elite athletes to draw from that will provide our best opportunity for success in Rio. This team is built on depth, and provides our coaching staff an ability to establish numerous lineups as we enter the final preparations into Rio in September.”
     
    Two-time U.S. Paralympian Josh Turek of Council Bluffs, Iowa, will make a third Games appearance in Rio. Turek, a member of the 2014 U.S. World Championship squad that won a silver medal, first played on the big stage in 2004 and again in 2012. Ian Lynch of Bellevue, Kentucky, Nate Hinze of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Trevon Jenifer of Edinboro, Pennsylvania, will make their second U.S. Paralympic squad after winning bronze at the London 2012 Paralympics.
     
    John Gilbert of Salisbury, Missouri, and Aaron Gouge of Grand Prairie, Texas, who played on both the 2014 World Championship and 2015 Parapan Am Games teams, will see action in their first Paralympic Games. Also making their first U.S. Paralympic Team are three standouts who helped the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2015 Parapan Am Games in Toronto: Jared Arambula of Valparaiso, Indiana; Brian Bell of Forest Park, Illinois; and Jake Williams of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
     
    “This was an extremely difficult process to select 12 athletes from a group of incredibly talented elite athletes,” said U.S. Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team Head Coach Ron Lykins, who also coached the U.S. women’s team to Paralympic gold in 2004 and 2008. “The group we selected best fits the style of play that the coaches want to play – good speed, great shooters, excellent defensive skill in half and full court situations. There is a good mix of veterans and younger players who have been with us since we started this journey in 2013. We are excited to be back together and preparing for the Rio Paralympics.”
     
    The cumulative participation at major events of the 12 athletes proves to be rich with veteran talent and a welcomed addition of younger elite athletes. By the numbers, this group has participated in 12 Paralympic Games and 16 World Championships combined. The roster returns eight from the silver-medal 2014 World Championships and 11 from the 2015 Parapan Am Games.
     
    The U.S. team will open the Rio 2016 Paralympics on Sept. 8, against host country Brazil in the Rio Olympic Arena. The U.S. men’s team qualified for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games by winning the 2015 Parapan Am Games in Toronto, Canada. The U.S. men outscored the competition by 36 points per game.
     
    The U.S. men’s team finished with a bronze medal at the London 2012 Paralympics and look to improve in Rio de Janeiro. The men’s team finished seventh in 2004 and fourth in 2008, following bronze-medal performances in 2000 and 1996.
     
    Also joining Lykins on the sidelines will be assistant coaches Robb Taylor of Auburn, Alabama, and John Sikora of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Scott Meyer of Columbia, Missouri, will serve as the Team Leader, with Mary Vacala of Savannah, Georgia, filling the athletic trainer position. Also assisting in preparations are strength coach Michael Cohen of Savannah, Georgia, and team psychologist Dr. Roberta Kraus of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
     
    The sport of wheelchair basketball started in the United States in 1945 following World War II. The sport has grown worldwide and was introduced at the Rome 1960 Paralympic Games and today it is nearly participated in 100 countries. The sport is designed for athletes who have physical impairment of the lower extremities that prevents running, jumping and pivoting. Men and women play on teams of five players each and the measurements of the court and the height of the baskets are the same as in able-bodied basketball.
     
    Rio 2016 Paralympic Games
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    September 7-17, 2016
     
    2016 U.S. Men’s Paralympic Games Roster (Alphabetical)
    No.  Name Residence Hometown Ht. Date of Birth
    20 Jared Arambula Valparaiso, Ind. Valparaiso, Ind. 5’8” 1/8/1990
    8 Brian Bell Forest Park, Ill. Birmingham, Ala. 6’1” 2/24/1989
    12 John Gilbert Salisbury, Mo. Fairfax, Mo. 5’8” 4/4/1987
    42 Aaron Gouge Grand Prairie, Texas Wake Forest, N.C. 6’0” 11/3/1985
    15 Nate Hinze Oshkosh, Wis. Cedar Grove, Wis. 6’3” 6/12/1988
    16 Trevon Jenifer Edinboro, Pa. Huntington, Md. 6’0” 9/7/1988
    13 Ian Lynch Bellevue, Ky. Brooklyn Park, Minn. 5’4” 4/20/1984
    5 Michael Paye Macomb, Mich. Warren, Mich. 5’10” 3/24/1983
    9 Matt Scott Southfield, Mich. Detroit, Mich. 5’5” 3/27/1985
    11 Steve Serio Westbury, N.Y. Westbury, N.Y. 5’4” 9/8/1987
    4 Joshua Turek Council Bluffs, Iowa Council Bluffs, Iowa 5’11” 4/12/1979
    2 Jake Williams Milwaukee, Wis. Milwaukee, Wis. 6’1” 8/2/1991
     
    U.S. Men’s Staff:  Head Coach Ron Lykins (Columbia, Mo.); Assistant Coaches Robb Taylor (Auburn, Ala.), and John Sikora (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Team Leader Scott Meyer (Columbia, Mo.); Athletic Trainer Mary Vacala (Savannah, Ga.); Strength Coach Michael Cohen (Savannah, Ga.); Team Psychologist Dr. Roberta Kraus (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
     
    2016 U.S. Men’s Paralympic Games Schedule
    Date  Time Men/Women U.S. Opponent   Venue
    9/8/16  3:15P Men  Brazil vs. USA   Rio Olympic Arena
    9/9/16  9:30A Men  USA vs. Germany  Rio Olympic Arena
    9/10/16 3:45P Men  USA vs. Islamic Republic of Iran Carioca Arena 1
    9/11/16 6:00P Men  Algeria vs. USA   Carioca Arena 1
    9/12/16 3:45P Men  USA vs. Great Britain  Carioca Arena 1
     
    9/14/16 9:30A Men’s 11-12 place    Rio Olympic Arena
    9/14/16 11:45A  Men’s quarter-final    Rio Olympic Arena
    9/14/16 3:15P Men’s quarter final    Rio Olympic Arena
    9/14/16 5:30P Men’s quarter final    Rio Olympic Arena
    9/14/16 9:00P Men’s quarter final    Rio Olympic Arena
    9/15/16 9:30A Men’s 9-10 place     Rio Olympic Arena
    9/15/16 5:30P Men’s semi-final     Rio Olympic Arena
    9/15/16 9:00P Men’s semi-final     Rio Olympic Arena
    9/17/16 9:30A Men’s 7-8 place     Rio Olympic Arena
    9/17/16 11:45A Men’s Bronze medal match   Rio Olympic Arena
    9/17/16 3:15P Men’s 5-6 place     Rio Olympic Arena
    9/17/16 5:30P Men’s Gold medal match    Rio Olympic Arena
    9/17/16 7:30P Men’s victory ceremony    Rio Olympic Arena
     
    2016 Rio Paralympic Games Men's pools
    Group A: Australia; Canada; Turkey; Netherlands; Japan; Spain
    Group B: Iran; USA; Great Britain; Germany; Algeria; Brazil

    Adam Lancia named Head Coach

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Adam Lancia has been named head coach of the University of Alabama women's wheelchair basketball team.

    Lancia previously coached the ASV-Bonn German First Division team from 2008-11 and the Nova Scotia Flying Wheels first division team in Halifax from 2012-2015.  Ha also has played for the Canadian National team since 2001 and has won two gold medals and a silver medal as a player across three Paralympic Games since 2004.

    "The timing of this opportunity is tremendous," Lancia said.  "From speaking with (assistant coach) Adam Kramer, he can't say enough about the resources and how supportive the university is of our team and Alabama Adapted Athletics."

    Dr. Brent Hardin, director of UA Adapted Athletics, has followed Lancia's career since his days as a college player at the University of Illinois, where Lancia helped lead the Illini to a national championship in 2003.  He said Lancia's extensive experiences at every level of wheelchair basketball will help UA continue its championship success.

    "He is a cerebral teacher in the gym but also a fiery motivator that will hold our team accountable," Hardin said.  "I think our student athletes ware really going to enjoy playing for Coach Lancia.  We feel he is exactly the right coach for Alabama and we are confident he will help our players realize their full potential."

    Lancia takes over for Elisha Williams, who resigned at the end of the 2015-16 season.  Williams won a national championship as a player and one as a coach, leading the Crimson Tide to it fourth women's national championship in 2015.

    UA we 15-12 overall and 10-10 in conference play last season.  The Crimson Tide will welcome seven new players this season.  Six of those players have international experience, Lancia said.

    "Dynamic" is a term Lancia hopes becomes synonymous with UA's play, a goal he hopes to reach by simulating the "chaotic" nature of wheelchair basketball in training.  "We're going from a good team last year to a deep, dynamic team next season.  We'll be able to throw many different looks at our competition."

    "When Brent asked me what my offensive and defensive philosophies are, I told him 'my offensive strategy is to frustrate defenses, and my defensive strategy is to frustrate offenses,'"  Lancia said "I want my players to do whatever they can to make other teams work.  We want to effectively counter what any team throws at us.  There's going to be fast play in transition, 3-point shooting, smaller lineups to counter taller, slower teams."

    "We're going use that dynamic approach in how we train and organize practices.  The game is chaotic, a mess, just crazy times, and practice has to replicate that to an extent."

    The National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) today announced Ultimate Workout and Recovery as an official sponsor of the NWBA. Ultimate Workout and Recovery/Stuck in Bed Fitness LLC, is a state-of-the-art rehab and workout gym designed specifically for those with physical disabilities. As such, Ultimate Workout and Recovery is also the official wheelchair gym of the NWBA. 

    The NWBA will serve as an official distributor of the Ultimate Work and Recovery line of products including the full-size Spider unit that comes equipped with the smaller travel size Viper Edition. The NWBA will market the Spider and Viper products to members through www.nwba.org, e-mail messages, and the NWBA E-Newsletter. 

    The Spider Edition offers ways to maintain strength both physically and mentally, as well as improve an overall sense of well being. The mission of Ultimate Workout and Recovery is to provide a total body workout via exercises and rehab in dozens of unique and exciting ways, especially for those unable or just not wanting to go out. The Ultimate Workout and Recovery gym is a 100-use system that is the perfect option to exercise regularly right from their recliner, wheelchair or bed, while the travel viper system is perfect for on the go strength and cardio conditioning anywhere anytime for anyone.

    “This is such an honor and the NWBA is a perfect match for what we are all about,” said Joseph M Salamon, CEO and Chief Marketing Strategist at Stuck in Bed Fitness LLC. “Our fitness and complete exercise system is geared specifically for wheelchair users, whether short or long term. Everyone in the family can benefit from this new fitness equipment including moms, kids and seniors as well. We feel that our arrangement with the NWBA will allow their players and family members of any age or stage to stay in tip-top condition and get stronger whenever they would like to, and inspire others to join teams and develop further while expanding the NWBA and Stuck in bed fitness LLC reach.''

    Dr. Michael Roizen, world renowned Wellness Chief at the Cleveland Clinic, and former New England Patriot linebacker Pierre Woods have each enthusiastically endorsed the Spider unit and smaller travel size mobile Viper edition which can be enjoyed from the bus, car, plane, train, hotel room and more. The Stuck in Bed Fitness LLC team is also proud to announce its new Foundation set up for other Foundations/Rehab Clinic Centers to bulk purchase the units at a special discounted. For more information on the Ultimate Workout and Recovery products visit: www.facebook.com/sibfsllc.

    “We are excited about the addition of Ultimate Workout and Recovery as a sponsor of the NWBA and for our members to purchase the Ultimate Workout and Recovery Spider unit. It is an excellent workout system for our athletes that can be set-up for off-season and in-season workouts,” said Jim Scherr, NWBA Executive Director. 

    Applications available for New Women's Division Scholarship

    The Women’s Division of the NWBA is proud to announce the launch of the ‘We Play Hard’ scholarship program. The Women’s Division has created a scholarship that will enable juniors and adults with disabilities to pursue their dreams of sporting excellence, on the Paralympic, World and National stages. Participating in sport also helps Individuals with disabilities to go further in life—to set and achieve goals like graduating college, getting a job, buying a home, traveling, having a family. And, for those Individuals who have the potential to become great athletes, the time, training and travel it takes to achieve that level of greatness takes resources---resources that a lot of families simply don’t have.
     
    The Women’s Division of the NWBA created the ‘We Play Hard’ scholarship to help fill that gap. The Women’s Division will provide 10 scholarships of up to $300 to eligible applicants for assistance with travel, training and other costs necessary to help pave the way for these young athletes to achieve sporting excellence—excellence that will carry over into creating a generation of talented and committed leaders who are ready and willing to share and give back. We invite interested athletes, who are on a women’s division roster for the 2015-2016 year, who are passionately pursuing dreams of athletic glory to apply.
     
     
    Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and you will be notified by mail of NWBA.  Applicants are eligible to receive one scholarship per calendar year. Applicants may then reapply during the next calendar year; funding for one year is not a guarantee of future funding. If you have questions or need further information, please contact Keith Wallace at kwallace@lwsra.org.

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